Cowes to become a ‘true sheltered harbour’ once £7 million breakwater is built. Construction of the new Cowes breakwater is to start at Easter, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has announced.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has appointed construction firm Boskalis Westminster to build the new £7 million detached breakwater. The construction of the new breakwater will be carried out in two phases. The initial construction phase will continue through the summer of 2014 and will then be followed by a consolidation period to allow for settlement of the breakwater structure during the autumn through to spring 2015. The contractor will then return to Cowes to re-dress the core structure and complete the construction of the breakwater during the summer of 2015.

The construction of the 350 metre long breakwater is the first phase of transforming Cowes into a “true sheltered harbour”. The project is a joint initiative between CHC and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with both parties funding the work, with co-operation from the Crown Estate.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: “The signing of the breakwater construction contract is a significant milestone.” The breakwater is the first and most important component of the new harbour protection and infrastructure to be delivered as part of this partnership project. CHC will continue to work with the HCA to deliver the harbour authority’s priority of completing the sea defences by the delivery of the second phase: the extension to the Shrape breakwater and the dredging of the new Eastern Channel, which will be brought forward as part of the HCA’s proposed new marina at East Cowes.

Cowes Harbour Commission will issue regular navigational information and news updates for stakeholders and harbour users during the construction process.

More information on the Cowes breakwater project can be found on the CHC website: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk.

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